Visa options for Conferences, Trade Fairs, Seminars or Expos
All visitors to Australia must have a valid visa to travel to and enter Australia (other than New Zealand passport holders who will normally be granted a Special Category visa on arrival, provided they meet health and character requirements; and permanent residents of Norfolk Island who may be granted a Permanent Resident of Norfolk Island visa on arrival).
If you are planning to visit Australia for a business event such as a conference, trade fair, seminar or expo, you may be able to apply for one of the following visas.
The appropriate visa will depend, amongst other things, on your purpose for visiting Australia.
There are many visa options available to people wishing to visit Australia. The appropriate visa option will depend, on the person’s purpose for visiting Australia, and the country of passport held.
Depending on your eligibility, you may be able to apply for one of the following visas:
- Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa (subclass 400)
- Temporary Activity (subclass 408)(Invited Participant) visa
- Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) (subclass 601)
- eVisitor visa (subclass 651)
- Visitor (subclass 600)(Business Stream)
The Temporary Activity (subclass 408)(Invited Participant) visa is the appropriate visa for those intending to undertake one or more of the following roles/activities:
- People involved in the organisation or delivery of the event
- Speakers, presenters or delegates who are being paid (including appearance fees) for their participation eg. professional motivational speakers or VIPs paid to attend as delegates
- A role/activity that would normally be remunerated
- Independent journalist, correspondent or reporter for an overseas news organisation who will not be taking part in film, television or other productions that will be broadcast in Australia
- Exhibitors engaged in retail activities (sale of goods or services directly to the general public)
More information is available on the department’s website, see: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/408-
The Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa (subclass 400) is the appropriate visa for independent journalist, correspondent or reporter for an overseas news organisation who will not be taking part in film, television or other productions that will be broadcast in Australia. More information is available on the department’s website. See: www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/400-
Note: If you will be taking part in film, television or other productions that will be broadcast in Australia, you should apply for the Temporary Activity (subclass 408)(Entertainment) visa. See: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/408-
If you are planning to visit Australia to participate in a business event such as a conference, trade fair or seminar or expo, and you are not being paid by an organiser for your participation in the event, you may be eligible for an ETA (subclass 601), eVisitor visa (subclass 651) or Visitor (Business Stream) visa (subclass 600), as long as you:
- do not work for or provide services to a business or organisation in Australia
- do not sell goods or services to the public
You may also be eligible for one of these visas if you are undertaking a genuine unpaid volunteer role, but only if an Australian resident would not otherwise be paid to do that type of work (you can be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses such as meals and accommodation).
More information on ETA, eVisitor visa and Visitor (Business Stream) visa is available on the department’s website.
Things to consider before lodging an application
Health and character requirements:
All visa applicants must be assessed against Australia’s health and character requirements. These requirements are designed to protect the safety and security of the Australian community.
As part of the visa application process you may be required to undertake a medical examination, chest x ray and/or other health checks. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (the department) will advise you of the applicable health checks (if any), based on your individual circumstances. Information on which health checks may apply to you is available on the department’s website. See: www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Heal
As part of the visa application assessment process the onus is on you to satisfy the character requirements set out in Section 501 of the Migration Act 1958. Further information on the character requirement is available on the department’s website. See: www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Char.If you are unsure whether you satisfy the character requirements because of prior criminal convictions, you should lodge a paper-based application at the Australian visa office nearest to your current place of residence, at least four months prior to the event start date. Contact information for Australian visa offices is available on the department’s website. See: www.border.gov.au/about/contact/offices-locations
For information on countries subject to travel sanctions, please refer to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s website. Nationals of these countries may not be permitted to travel to and enter Australia. See: www.dfat.gov.au/international-relations/security/sanctions/pages/sanctions.aspx
Biometrics may need to be collected at an Australian Visa Application Centre for visitors and business people lodging a visa application from the countries listed on the department’s website. If you lodge your application online, the department will advise you in writing if you need to provide your biometrics. See: www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Biom
Invitation and registration to attend the event:
Although this is a separate process to lodging your visa application, when assessing whether you meet the criteria for the grant of a visa, the department may take into account whether you are registered or were invited to attend the event. Confirmation of registration, or a copy of your letter of invitation, should accompany visa applications. For online subclass 400 and subclass 600 applications, information about documents that need to be attached will be provided as part of the application process.
Most visa applications can now be lodged online. ImmiAccount is a single point of entry into the department’s online visa services. ImmiAccount accepts all online applications including eVisitor visa (subclass 651), Visitor e600 visa and Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa (subclass 400), and Temporary activity visa (subclass 408). ImmiAccount does not accept applications for Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). More information about ImmiAccount is available on the department’s website. See: www.border.gov.au/immiaccount
If you are not eligible to apply online you may lodge a paper application.
For information on where and how to lodge a paper application, see: www.border.gov.au/about/contact/offices-locations
Cut-off date for lodging paper based applications:
You should apply for a visa at least two months prior to the intended date of departure, and four months prior if there are any character or health concerns. More information about visa processing times is available on the department’s website. See: www.border.gov.au/about/access-accountability/service-standards
Obligations of visa holders:
On arrival at Australia’s border you must identify yourself, present your travel documents, and complete an Incoming Passenger Card (IPC). The IPC requires visitors to declare their health status and any prior criminal convictions. If you do not meet immigration clearance requirements, you may be refused entry to Australia. You must comply with your visa validity and visa conditions while in Australia. When you receive your Australian visa you are issued with a visa grant notice that explains the conditions of the visa including period of validity and entry requirements. You are advised to carry this visa grant notice when travelling for your own reference. Your visa may be cancelled if you breach any of the conditions. If your visa expires while you are still in Australia, you become an unlawful non-citizen. Unlawful non-citizens are liable to be detained and removed from Australia.